TL;DR about us: We’re an eclectic independent publisher 40 years young. We have a little bit of everything—and a lot of some things—on our list, but we especially like interesting fiction, mysteries, history, politics, biographies, art, design, architecture and re-issuing classic works.
You may know us as the brainchild of legendary publisher Peter Mayer, the company that throws the amazing anniversary parties, or the folks behind the gorgeous new editions of P.G. Wodehouse. This site is a bit more insight into our list, our day-to-day life and the challenges (and triumphs!) of independent publishing today.
The full story: we’re an independent general-interest publisher, founded in 1971. The publishing program consists of approximately 100 new books per year, roughly divided between hardcovers and trade paperbacks. The list is eclectic, with areas of strength in fiction, history, biography, drama, design, and other visual media.
The house was launched by Peter Mayer as a home for distinguished books new and older often “overlooked” by larger houses. At the time Mayer was at the helm of one of them, Avon, and would go on to a twenty-year tenure as Penguin’s CEO in London. With his father Alfred, a retired glove manufacturer, Mayer set up the Overlook Press in 1971, supervising business from Manhattan in his off hours, while Fredy ran the upstate operation, picturesquely housed in an old apple shed on Overlook Mountain in Woodstock. Milestone books in those early years ranged from Graphic Design by Milton Glaser and Raymond Loewy’s Industrial Design, to the medieval martial arts treatise turned business bestseller, A Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Mushashi.
Initial instincts and evolving lists proved reliable; Overlook today has more than 1,500 titles in print. Our fiction includes novels by espionage, crime, and thriller novelists Charles McCarry, Robert Littell, and Peter Quinn, as well as international sensations Susan Hill, R.J. Ellory, Harry Sidebottom, and Penny Vincenzi, whose ten romance novels published by Overlook are widely acclaimed as stunning entertainment. We also provide a home to many of literature’s modern masters; individual standouts include Charles Portis, P.G. Wodehouse, Joseph Roth, André Schwarz-Bart, Mervyn Peake, and Richard Zimler.
Reviving classic books and authors is a major aspect of our program, e.g. our stylish editions of the works of P.G. Wodehouse and the republication of the beloved Freddy the Pig children’s series containing 23 books by Walter Brooks.
In 2002 we acquired Ardis, the premier publisher of Russian literature in English, and have given that program new presence with handsome paperback editions of titles long unavailable. In 2003 the Overlook elephant spread its wings across the Atlantic to take ownership of the fabled 106-year-old company Duckworth. More recently we have partnered with the Nonesuch Press to recreate and make available the works of Charles Dickens as individual leather and cloth bound novels containing full color illustrations selected by Dickens himself. Keeping in step with the rapidly evolving times of the publishing industry, we routinely release digital versions of current and backlist titles through our e-book program.
We proudly present the books on this site as works of outstanding quality and interest that you will enjoy reading and adding to your book collection.
Learn more at www.overlookpress.com.